Carrick politicians react to spending review

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Politicians in Carrick expressed different reactions to Chancellor George Osborne’s spending review this week.

The Chancellor announced a raft of measures in the House of Commons last Wednesday with the headlines being grabbed byhis U-turn on tax credits.

After announcing planned £4.4bn cuts to tax credits in July’s budget, Mr Osborne has now ditched the plans altogether following pressure from across the politicial spectrum.

And politicians across Carrick were quick to claim credit for forcing the Chancellor into the decision.

SNP MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock Corri Wilson said: “George Osborne’s complete U-turn on tax credit cuts shows that we were right to keep the pressure on right up to the last minute, highlighting the damage that would be inflicted if these changes had come into effect. It is satisfying to see all our hard work over the last few months has paid off.

“The proposals would have resulted in thousands of people across Ayrshire, and millions across the UK, losing substantial amounts of money, and being encouraged back onto the dole because they could no longer afford to work. I am pleased he has finally heeded the groundswell of opposition and halted these cuts.

“But his ideology has not changed and he is still committed to cutting £12 billion from the welfare budget, leaving the people of Scotland facing the horror of a decade of austerity we didn’t vote for.

“And while the devolution of some aspects of social security and employability – like carers allowance, the Work Programme and Work Choice – is an opportunity for improvement, the fact is that the Scotland Bill as it stands still leaves far too many powers over welfare, and 85% of funding, in the hands of the UK Government.”

However, Conservative candidate for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley Lee Lyons hailed the spending review as a positive one for Scotland.

Lee Lyons said: “The announcements made by the Chancellor show that the Conservatives are prepared to listen to the people when concerns are raised about a proposed policy.

“People were unhappy about the proposed changes to tax credits and the Chancellor has listened and abolished the plan altogether.

“I particularly welcome the Chancellor’s commitment to invest more in the NHS as this will provide additional block grant funding for Scotland through the Barnett Formula. The SNP have so far cut the NHS budget in Scotland in real terms so I am calling on the SNP to match our spending commitment on the NHS in Scotland so that the public have full confidence that our health service is fully funded and able to meet growing demand”.

Meanwhile Scottish Labour candidate for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley in 2016 Carol Mochan hailed the U-turn as a victory for her party.

Carol Mochan said: “Labour has forced a Tory U-turn on cuts to Tax Credits.

“The pressure of local people backing our campaign out in the streets to the winning Labour motion in the House of Lord’s worked together to stop him in his tracks. Don’t be fooled, the cuts are still coming through the new Universal Credit benefit but the immediate threat has been lessened.”